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Great ways to enhance referrals

March 04, 2016

Growing treatment centers have come to rely on local partners and personal connections to enhance the volume and value of their incoming referrals. As the industry continues its expansion trends, new and more unique ideas abound. Experts in the field are chiming in with strategies to consider.

“Identify your client clinical profile to ensure a match with the facility’s treatment services offered.”

Michael Gillis, Chief Clinical Officer

Sunspire Health

"At Seabrook House, we use a variety of text options to alert people of appointments and events. We also treat referrals as real people and with compassion and respect."

Amir Hosseini, Clinical Outreach Representative

Seabrook House

“Some of my more amusing marketing efforts occur at non-industry-specific events.  When I am at a local Chamber of Commerce event, standing in a circle of people from diverse businesses, nearly every person will be holding a glass of wine.  After I explain that The Abbey provides addiction treatment, it can be pretty stifling of a conversation -- and sometimes people even apologize for drinking.  Some days after, however, I almost always get an email from someone in that circle asking how I can help one of their loved ones who is battling addiction.”

Joseph L. Lemon, Jr., Esq., JD, MBA, Founder
The Abbey Addiction Treatment Center

“Educating and partnering with healthcare organizations and individual practitioners regarding early detection and intervention is an essential approach to engaging with current and prospective referents. It’s important to make sure healthcare professionals are able to identify when patients may have an issue with substance abuse and/or addiction and that they are well versed in your treatment and outcomes. As a result, they will be more likely to choose your organization as a preferred provider.”  

Lisa Marsilio, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Caron Treatment Centers

“Understanding and uncovering the needs of your external and internal clients as well as constant open communication is the key to a successful relationship and building a vast network.  Ask questions, build rapport and trust, and bear in mind it takes seven touches before someone really remembers who you are, what you do, and how you do it.”

Tazim Salehani, MS, Vice President of Business Development

Phoenix House Texas

“The truth is, there aren’t really any secrets or shortcuts to getting referrals. Our best source of referrals is from our former clients. When people have a good experience with us and stay sober long term, everyone they know and everyone on their after-care treatment team—medical doctors, psychotherapists, etc.—refers to us. People want to get their lives back and if you have a history of doing that, the referrals will come.”

Constance Scharff, PhD, Director of Addiction Research

Cliffside Malibu

“Frontload the client, frontload the parents, frontload the referral source and frontload the program.”

Shelley Skaggs, Chief Marketing Officer, Admissions & Outreach

Benchmark Transitions

“People don’t make referrals to institutions—they make referrals to people. It is fundamental to develop relationships with referral sources so there is trust that their referral won’t be lost, discounted or taken for granted.”

Marc Turner, CEO


“It is all about relationships, and not ignoring the power of the consequential stranger—the individuals  in your day to day circles of influence, who don’t seem to matter, but do!”

 Jim Wallis, Vice President

Preferred Family Healthcare, Inc.

Many thanks to our contributors!

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